Staying in Medellín
Most of Medellín’s best boutique hotels are in the heart of El Poblado, the trendy neighborhood south of the city center where Medellín’s nightlife is concentrated. Others have established themselves on the area’s fringes, where the streets are a little more sedate.
Medellín’s city center doesn’t have much in the way of noteworthy lodging options. However, the up-and-coming Laureles neighborhood to the west of downtown already boasts a sprinkling of backpacker hostels and is beginning to attract a more upscale clientele too.
The Sites 45 is a sleek designer hotel, or, as they put it, an alojamiento de autor (authored accommodation), and to make the point, the lobby area is so full of bookshelves you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a library. All of which may sound pretentious, but really does go to emphasize that this is somewhere a bit special.
There’s a choice of lofts or slightly more spacious suite rooms, each with its own kitchen, not to mention a king-size bed, 400-thread-count luxury cotton sheets, and a pillow menu (to choose what type of pillow you want). There are floor-to-ceiling windows, good buffet breakfasts, a jacuzzi terrace, and if you don’t want to use the hotel’s laundry service, machines where you can do your own laundry for free.
Carrera 45 No. 5–15, El Poblado
The 42 rooms at The Charlee include two penthouse suites, and go by names like “Aqua” (with a Jacuzzi on the balcony), “Spice” (with a Teppanyaki grill on its balcony, and the option of a chef to cook on it for you), and “Envy” (featuring both of the above). Even the standard rooms have good balconies, Egyptian cotton sheets, and goose-down duvets.
Located right on Parque Lleras, the main square that’s El Poblado’s party central, the Charlee offers views over the Parque from every room. And in case that’s not enough, there’s a rooftop bar with a pool, an Italian restaurant, and a three-level gym. Paintings, sculptures, and photographs embellish the public spaces, and many of the furnishings have been brought over from Southeast Asia, making an eclectic but interestingly harmonious blend of styles.
Calle 9A No. 37–16, El Poblado
Warehouse chic is the style at the Art Hotel, a boutique four-star, with lots of exposed brick, concrete floors, and moody lighting. The public areas are hung with modern art to match the feel. Located just a block from the Parque de Lleras, the epicenter of El Poblado’s bar and disco scene, this isn’t a quiet or sedate little hotel, but more like a stylish space to chill in between partying.
There’s a lobby bar that functions more as a little art gallery, but your best bet for a drink is the rooftop bar-restaurant with all-round views of the neighborhood. The standard double rooms here are 25 sq. m, their industrial-style décor set off with smoochy chaise longues and classic touches.
Carrera 41 No. 9–31, El Poblado
West of the city center, the Inntu is the first deluxe hotel to open in the increasingly popular Laureles neighborhood. It doesn’t have the relentless party vibe of El Poblado, but that’s part of the charm. Certainly, there are excellent eating options nearby, and the tourist sights of the city center are within (admittedly longish) walking distance if you care to stretch your legs.
Smart and snazzy, with 45 rooms and modern decor, the Inntu claims to be “eco-intelligent" - meaning solar panels, water recycling, and clever use of natural light. There’s a rooftop spa with a therapeutic pool and great views, although you pay extra to use it, and it has a sun terrace too.
Transversal 39 No. 74B–10, Laureles
Somewhere between a guesthouse and a boutique hotel, La Rosas has just 17 rooms and caters for tourists and business visitors alike. It’s tucked away in Provenza, a quiet, leafy area adjoining El Poblado — just a five-minute walk from all those bars and nightclubs, but conveniently out of earshot when you get back to your room to sleep.
The beds here are firm, which some like and others don’t, but the whole place has a light, airy feel, and in principle, it has a theme of flowers, with a different bloom for each room. There’s an outside area with a sun deck and a pool, and you can breakfast every morning on arepas (corn patties), eggs and good coffee.
Carrera 33 No. 5G–73, El Poblado
There’s a comfortably old-fashioned feel to the Park 10, with a classic-style décor and lots of dark wood. The rooms all have a lounge area and the beds have Egyptian cotton sheets and a choice of pillows. If that isn’t grand enough, there are also junior suites, grand suites and a presidential suite.
Although the hotel doesn’t have a pool, nor very extensive common areas, it does have a gym and a spa, a patio restaurant and “casual food” bar (you don’t have to dress for dinner, in other words). There’s a big buffet breakfast, and the staff will go out of their way to please. It’s at the northern end of El Poblado, and nice and quiet, especially at night.
Carrera 36B No. 11–12, El Poblado
Lleras Green Hotel
Living up to its name, the Lleras Green is just off Parque de Lleras, the main square in El Poblado, and the decor is indeed rather green. This is something of a budget boutique hotel, with low prices, but cool, well-designed rooms, 35 in all. There’s a bright, modern feel to the place, but be aware that you are right in the middle of Medellín’s party district, so don’t expect peace and tranquility.
The rooms are all fresh and clean, not huge but perfectly adequate, the bathrooms screened off with glass. In case you feel like a bit of extra space, not to mention a jacuzzi, there are also suites and junior suites. A terrace bar and new restaurant are in the works.
Calle 9 No. 40–30, El Poblado
Once the best and grandest hotel in Medellín, the Nutibara remains an icon in a city center. Not a boutique hotel as such (it has 128 rooms), it exudes a sweet nostalgia for its faded past. The rooms are large, and there are period features all over the place, albeit survivors of the past rather than carefully conserved relics. The Nutibara remains the grandest hotel in the downtown area but if you want something posher, you’ll have to head out to El Poblado.
The neighborhood around the hotel is a bit seedy, especially at night, but on the other hand, you are right by Parque Botero with its sculptures and museums, and slap-bang in the middle of town. There are good views over the park, and there’s a third-floor terrace café.
Calle 52A No. 50–46, Centro
Located just north of the city center, 61 Prado bills itself as “a European guesthouse in Medellín”. Location-wise, it’s handy for the sights downtown, with Parque Botero just a fifteen-minute walk away, and Prado metro station even nearer.
Facilities here include a 24-hour restaurant, a roof terrace with good views, and a fast wi-fi connection. Rooms have ceiling fans but lack air-conditioning. The cheapest rooms have shared bathroom facilities, but prices here are very economical, so rooms with private bathrooms are not going to break the bank either, and even a junior suite goes at bargain rates.
Calle 61 No. 50A–60, Prado